Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Learning 2023
Save the date!
Bowling Green State University will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 16, 2023, with a day of service and learning. The MLK Day of Service and Learning will be an opportunity for the BGSU campus community to come together to learn and reflect on contemporary issues through the Symposium on Diversity and connect with the Bowling Green, Ohio, and greater Northwest Ohio community by performing community service activities on and off the BGSU campus throughout the day.
How to Get Involved
On and off campus partners should sign up with BGSUserves and join the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Learning page. This will be the central “hub” for all on and off campus learning and service events.
If you have any questions or concerns about the 2023 MLK Day of Service and Learning, please email Amanda Anastasia Paniagua at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tentative Schedule/Format for the Day
A History of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at BGSU
This history was researched and compiled by Amanda Anastasia Paniagua (Ph.D. student in Higher Education Administration). If you have questions, please e-mail her at email@example.com.
1965: Rev. King sent a letter inviting BGSU faculty and staff to participate in a voter registration and education program the following summer (The BG News, January 8, 1965).
Meeting minutes from January 7, 1965, confirms the letter was read by the then student council president. It is unclear where the letter went after that reading, but its existence is a testament to the potential Dr. King saw in BGSU faculty and students at the time.
Following Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, BGSU students and faculty organized to create the MLK scholarship fund to assist prospective Black students in attending the university (The BG News, April 25, 1968). The first recipient of the fund was a Fostoria High School student. (The BG News, April 30, 1969).
The 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Immediately following Dr. King’s assassination, Dr. King's wife, Coretta Scott King and several politicians made multiple attempts to make either the day of King’s assassination (April 4) or birthday (January 15) a federal holiday.
Although Ohio made Dr. King’s birthday a state holiday in 1975 (The BG News, January 15, 1982), the debate to make Dr. King's birthday a university holiday with programming and events took place at BGSU from 1979-1982 (see The BG News, May 25, 1979; May 30, 1979; October 11, 1979; January 15, 1980; May 28, 1980; January 15, 1981; January 16, 1981; January 12, 1981; January 14, 1982; January 15, 1982).
The Black Student Union (BSU) and Latino Student Union (LSU) presented demands to President Moore; one of which was a proposed MLK Day holiday (The BG News, May 25, 1979).
BGSU officially recognized MLK Day as a university holiday (The BG News, February 19, 1981)
As BGSU progressed through the 1980s, MLK Day related events and programming offered at BGSU were the result of student organizations and student support departments such as the Black Student Union (BSU), Black Greek Council, Board of Cultural Activities, and the then Minority Student Activities office (see The BG News January 13, 1983; January 18, 1984; January 16, 1985; January 15, 1986; January 15, 1987; January 19, 1988; January 13, 1989).
During the 1990s, a shift occurred with an on-campus MLK Day task force partnering with off campus city officials to provide more community engagement with the BGSU MLK holiday. Local area churches, elementary schools, and the public library participated in the celebration (see The BG News January 12, 1990; January 18, 1991; January 21, 1991; January 13, 1995; January 16, 1996).
The millennium ushered in a new approach to MLK Day and shifted toward a “day on, not off” thanks to legislation passed in the mid-90s which encouraged those observing the day to give back to their communities through service and volunteer work (see The BG News January 16, 2004; January 17, 2012; January 21, 2014).
As with all of history, the pendulum swings back toward finding creative ways to honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the activism of past BGSU students through community engagement and learning with educational programming and service opportunities for 2023.
Updated: 01/10/2023 03:46PM